Smart Folders are updated automatically as you change, add, and remove files on your computer.
To create a smart folder follow these steps:
Open a new Finder window by clicking its icon in the dock.
Select New Smart Folder from the Finders File menu. NOTE: You could also use Command+Option+N on the keyboard.
A window will appear which allows you to filter the results for your new smart folder.
To gather files using a particular term you can enter text into the search box. For example you might want to enter part of a filename into the search box.
We can also limit the search using parameters. To limit the search, click This Mac, which searches the entire computer; Servers, which searches shared servers on your local network; or your home folder. (Your home folders name appears in quotation marks.)
You can also choose to limit the search by either File Contents or File Name.
To search for specific attributes, click the plus (+) button below the search field. The Search attribute pop-up menus will appear.
The menus work in pairs; for instance, to search for images, you would choose Kind from a pop-up menu on the left and then choose Images from the pop-up menu next to it.
Click the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons to add or remove attributes.
As an example I will create a smart folder that contains only documents modified in the past week.
If you haven't already click the plus (+) button below the search field. Notice a new horizontal bar will appear below the toolbar. On the bar there are two dropdown menus. The first says Kind and the second says Any. We use these dropdowns to filter our results.
Select Kind from the first dropdown. Next select Documents from the second dropdown. What we have done here is set our Smart Folder to only contain files of the Kind "Documents".
If we're content with this filter we could stop here but lets add another attribute to filter for. Click the plus (+) button at the end of the horizontal bar.
Another horizontal bar will appear and with this we can filter for a second attribute. From the first dropdown select Last Modified Date. From the second dropdown select this week. Now we have specific that only documents that have been modified within the last week be included in our Smart Folder.
Of course we can filter for as many attributes as we like. Click the plus (+) button to add a new one or click the minus (-) button to remove one.
To Save your Smart Folder click the the Save button under the search field.
A popup will appear asking you to specific the name of the Smart Folder, the Location, and whether or not to include it in the Sidebar. Enter an appropriate name, choose the location, and check the box to include the Smart Folder in your Sidebar. For our example I called the folder "Recent Documents". I saved it in Documents. And I did not include it in my Sidebar. Click the Save button to finish creating your Smart Folder.
Notice the Smart Folder appears in my Documents folder. Now anytime I open this folder it will contain all the documents I modified on my computer in the last week!